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Help with last few parts for custom built PC!


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#1
Kn3wB

Kn3wB

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Hello I'm basically trying to build a high end computer from scratch basically (think I can salvage from my old optical DVD drives/mouse/keyboard/headset and I have an awesome monitor already!!).

Background/Needs: I'm a hardcore gamer, but I also like to run on a longer upgrade cycle than most(my computer needs to last 5yr at least). I will play my computer at bare minimums in it's later years for as long as possible until the games I want to play just don't run period (below minimum specs)...I've done this successfully in the past and I'm just barely short or too close to be comfortable for diablo 3 and I also have my eye on some upcoming FPShooters.


Reservations:
-I DON'T OVERCLOCK anything...but I might do it in the 4th/5th year if I am forced to do so. (However I think I'm going to use 1600MHz RAM rather than the listed "Memory Specifications of 1333/1060 for i7/i5 processors...I've read it's not actually 'overclocking' per se, just have to change the speed to the correct 1600MHz in BIOS, because the Motherboard&RAM I'm buying supports the 1600MHz.)
-I want Intel, not AMD.
-I like ASUS Motherboards and EVGA GeForce video cards...those have been home runs for me in the past!
-I'm waiting awhile before I worry about getting a Solid State Drive and Hard Drives are easy to replace/upgrade later...compared to other parts

CURRENTLY PLAN TO BUY:

MOBO- $200 ASUS Sabertooth P67 (5yr warranty, super durable/quality) [Better than ASUS P8Z68-V Pro??? same price]
CPU- $315 Intel Core i7-2600K (hoping it has more longevity in terms of gaming down the road than the i5-2500K)
GPU- $330 EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1280mb
RAM- $110 G.SKill Ripjaw Series 16GB(4x4gb) 1600MHz (PC3 12800) CL: 9, 1.5v, 9-9-9-24-2N timing
HDD- $55 Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB, 7200rpm, 64mb cache, SATA 6.0gb/s -Bare Drive
OS- $100 Windows 7 Home Premium

Current Total: $1110 +shipping/tax(California)...(plus a few instant savings/rebates that I didn't include)

Others I considered, non-Front runners:
-ASUS P8Z68-V Pro $200 (3yr warranty; doesn't seem like I was actually missing out on anything important)
-Intel Core i7-2500K $220 ($95 cheaper, but hoping the extra money for the i7 gives another 6+ months longevity for gaming)
-EVGA GeForce GTX 560-Ti FPB 1GB $250 (again hoping the extra $80 translates into longer before being obsolete)

Are any of my assumptions incorrect? Or do you guys think some of these would actually be better for my build? Taking into account my Needs/Reservations... Thanks!

I NEED HELP deciding on the following!!:

-CPU Fan/Heatsink!!! (need my stuff to run at safe temperatures at all times!)

-CASE!!! (old/big Antec tower is like 10yr(?) old or something, as standard/basic looking as you can get I think...was like $130 I think.)
*Basically I want a big/spacious tower that I can use for the next 10+ years...most important feature is keeping all the components inside SAFE and running COOL...dislike filmsy plastic, and water cooling...hoping for good airflow/fan action if possible. Let me know what is best/possible, prefferably under $200, but something worthy of the components I'm putting inside basically. Open to suggestions! Coolmaster, Antec, etc..??

-MISC Cooling??? What additional fans do you suggest for the case? External Cooling Devices? Anything?

-Power Supply...how many Watts are needed for all this stuff and how many watts should I actually purchase? Brands etc?

-MISC Stuff that I'm forgetting? (Planning on using onboard sound/internet)

-Or if you had something completely different in mind on any component that you think fits my Needs/Reservations and I didn't mention

THANK You all to anybody who responds and offers insight!! If you actually read all this stuff and try to help me out I will be GREATFUL! :)
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#2
Digerati

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Just a couple comments. With 16Gb of RAM you will need a 64-bit OS, so make sure you specify that.

Using an aftermarket HSF assembly on "retail" boxed Intel (and AMD) CPUs violates the 3 year warranty. That said, OEM case fans are excellent and fully capable. Remember, it is the case's responsibility to provide an adequate supply of cool air, not the HSF.

For PSUs,

Use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine the minimum and recommended power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plan ahead and plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years (extra drives, bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc.). Be sure to read and heed the notes at the bottom of the calculator page. I recommend setting Capacitor Aging to 30% (see my note below), and if you participate in distributive computing projects (e.g. BOINC or Folding@Home) or extreme 3D animated gaming, I recommend setting both TDP and system load to 100%. These steps ensure the supply has adequate head room for stress free (and perhaps quieter) operation, as well as future hardware demands. Research your video card and pay particular attention to the power supply requirements for your card listed on your video card maker's website. If not listed, check a comparable card (same graphics engine and RAM) from a different maker. The key specifications, in order of importance are:

  • Current (amperage or amps) on the +12V rail,
  • Efficiency,
  • Total wattage.
Don’t try to save a few dollars by getting a cheap supply! Digital electronics, including CPUs, RAM, and today's advanced graphics cards, need clean, stable power. A good, well chosen supply will provide years of service and upgrade wiggle room. Look for power supply brands listed under the "Good" column of PC Mech's PSU Reference List. Another excellent read is Tom’s Hardware, Who’s Who In Power supplies: Brands, Labels, And OEMs. Note that some case retailers “toss in” a generic or inadequate PSU just to make the case sale. Be prepared to “toss out” that supply for a good one with sufficient power.

Most PSUs have an efficiency rating of around 70%. This means for every 100 watts of power a PSU draws from the wall, only 70 watts is delivered to the motherboard, with the rest wasted in the form of heat. The best supplies are 85 to 90% efficient, and as expected, cost more. I strongly recommend you pick a quality supply with an efficiency rating equal to or greater than 80%. Look for 80 PLUS and EnergyStar Compliant labels. 80 PLUS PSUs are required to have fairly linear efficiencies. This is important to ensure the PSU is running at or near peak efficiency regardless the load or power demands. Non-linear PSUs typically are most efficient when the load is in a narrow range between 70 and 90% of the PSU’s capacity and the efficiency may drop dramatically above and below those amounts.

Too big of a PSU hurts nothing but your budget. Your computer will draw from the PSU only what it needs, not what the PSU is capable of delivering. If a computer needs 300 watts it will draw 300 watts regardless if the PSU is a 400W, 650W, or 1000W PSU. In turn, the PSU, regardless its size will draw from the wall only what it needs to support the computer. In this example, it will draw 300 watts, plus another 45 – 90 watts, depending on the PSU’s inefficiency.

As noted, the eXtreme Calculator determines minimum and recommended requirements. If the calculator (with the changes I suggested) recommends a 400 watt minimum, a quality 400W supply will serve you just fine. However, a quality 550W – 600W supply will have, among other things, larger heat sinks to dissipate potentially more heat. It might have a larger fan too. The 400W supply will run most of the time closer to capacity, while the larger supply will be loafing along, rarely breaking a sweat. To help the smaller heat sinks get rid of the wasted 80 watts (20% of 400) of heat, the fan in the 400W supply may need to run full speed, while the fan in the larger supply, with bigger sinks just loafs along too – but in near silence. Also, it is typical for manufacturers to use higher quality parts, design, and manufacturing techniques in their higher power supplies.

Note: Capacitor Aging. All electronics “age” over time. Electrons flowing through components bang around and create friction and heat causing wear and tear, altering the electrical characteristics of the device. Over time, this weakens the device resulting in eventual failure. Power supplies have always suffered profoundly from aging effects resulting in a loss of capacity. In recent years, capacitor technologies have improved. The best PSUs use the best (and most expensive) capacitors which suffer less from aging effects than older capacitor types. If planning on buying a new, high-end PSU, setting capacitor aging to 10% may result in a more realistic recommendation. However, headroom “buffer” will be significantly reduced. You can expect your PSU to last 5 years or longer. Since it is better to buy too big rather than too small, and since it is hard to predict what your power requirements will be in 3 years, using 30% for Capacitor Aging ensures you have enough headroom for virtually any upgrade.

Don't forget to budget for a good UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation). Surge and spike protectors are inadequate and little more than fancy, expensive extension cords.


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#3
Kn3wB

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Wow that was a very informative post!! Thank you a lot for your input, seems I have a lot more research to do...I'll be back! and yes I was planning on Windows 7 Home Premium (should have specified the 64bit version!)
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#4
Kn3wB

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I decided to finally go ahead and submit my purchase today(the 4-day marathon hunt is finally done!)! I ended putting together and building the following machine, after considering insight/advice I received from you guys here and from a few other sources I ended up with this machine:

I have one last really important question!!!:
Do I need to buy/replace any/all the fans in the Cool Master HAF 932 Advanced in your guys opinion? or are all the stock fans capable for my situation?? Thanks

-I wont be overclocking anything for at least 3 years...due to having to use stock cpu fan during that time.
-I wont be changing the i5-2500K stock CPU fan...it voids 3yr warranty, but was told it's sufficient for non-OC's anyways...

(not going fully into detail here, but if your curious about a specific item I bought these all from newegg at these prices.)

Case- $160 Cool Master HAF 932 Advanced
PSU- $135 Corsair Enthusiast Series 850W
MOBO- $200 ASUS Sabertooth P67
CPU- $220 Intel Core i5-2500K
GPU- $330 EVGA GeForce GTX 570
HDD- $55 Western Digital Caviar Black[750gb, SATA 6.0gb/s, 7200rpm, 64mb cache] (I know I could have gone to 1TB or higher at a fair price, but it's plenty for me)
RAM- $140 G. Skill Ripjaw Series 16GB (4gbx4) [Dual Channel 1600MHz (PC3 12800), 1.5v, CL:8, 8-8-8-24 Timings] (bought two 4gbx2 packs at $70 each, might be overkill but if a pair goes bad I still have 8gb to continue gaming while waiting for RMA)
OS- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM $100

I also got a $7 mouse!! heh

GRAND TOTAL: $1445 (after California tax + 3day UPS shipping + rush processing)

I also have like another $50 off in mail-in rebates/promo code instant savings(which I didn't include, because it's easier for you to find it with the prices I listed)...also a free batman game and 2 free memory cards or something(didn't influence the purchase...)

FUTURE PLANNED UPGRADES: After 3 years have passed and the 3yr warranty is gone from the i5-2500K I will get an after-market CPU Fan/Heatsink if I end up having to overclock it to keep myself playing games in years to come. Also I can potential add a 2nd GTX 570 if needed. Doubt I will need a bigger storage HDD, but a SSD when they are better/cheaper is a possibility.

THANK YOU Digerati!! your input/insight contributed a lot to my efforts! The PSU I got met the standards(80% certified) that you explained to me and got a 100watt bigger one even though a 750 should have worked as well with 30% aging! Also for your advice on the CPU Stock fan!!

Let me know what you think of how I did overall...be honest, I can take it!!
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#5
Digerati

Digerati

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Do I need to buy/replace any/all the fans in the Cool Master HAF 932 Advanced in your guys opinion? or are all the stock fans capable for my situation??


That case has 1 x 140mm rear fan, 1 x 230mm front red LED fan, 1 x 230mm top fan, and 1 x 230mm side fan. That is a tremendous amount of cooling. The advantage of using large (over 120mm) fans is they move massive amounts of air at a much lower RPM - which means they tend to be very quiet. If you keep the interior clean of heat trapping dust, you should have no heat problems.
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